Tobacco Smoking In The Philippines

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The Philippines, being dubbed as the strongest tobacco lobby in Asia (cited in Alechnowicz & Chapman, 2004), has constantly been a country with one of the greatest number of tobacco consumers in the ASEAN and in the world as well. Based on the 2009 Global Adult Tobacco Survey, 17.3 million Filipinos aged 15 and above are tobacco smokers. To hopefully decrease the number, the Department of Health has strongly campaigned against tobacco smoking realized by the mass media in producing picture warnings and hard-hitting anti-tobacco advertisements. Also, with the fulfillment of sin tax, the sector has hoped for a reduction of tobacco use. Indeed, from its enactment in 2013, the sin tax has helped decline the demand from tobacco manufacturing plant…show more content…
Tobacco smoke combats health principally because of the mixture of over 4,000 dangerous chemicals such as carbon monoxide and ammonia, forming a sticky substance called tar. Stop smoking booklet by Bolton NHS Foundation Trust explains that tar sticks to the insides of the lungs and damages the little brooms called cilia, consequently losing the cleaning function and making the person susceptible to diseases and disorders. It is always said that it is expensive to be sick nowadays. Definitely, this saying is proven to be true. In fact, according to an Inquirer report by Tubeza (2011), nearly P500 billion annually is spent by the country for healthcare costs and productivity losses because of smoking. Worst case scenarios include cancer, lung disorders, stroke, and heart attack which are the lead causes of death in the Philippines. Speaking about death, the same Inquirer report by Tubeza (2011) also states that the World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated 10 Filipinos dying every hour brought on by cigarette smoking. However, the smokers are not just the ones affected by their own doing but the people around them as well; this is through second-hand smoking or the inhalation of tobacco smoke to smokers nearby. As a matter of fact, the WHO warns that second-hand smoke causes hundreds of thousands of deaths to non-smokers due to the same smoking-related diseases (cited in Tubeza,…show more content…
As stated on the research paper written by K Alechnowicz and S Chapman (2004), one certain claim was from a Filipino pharmacologist resident in the USA named Domingo Aviado, who spoke out against reports associating smoking and detrimental health effects. During the 1980 tobacco forum organized by the Philippine Virginia Tobacco Administration, he said through courtesy of Philip Morris International that the health problems of Filipinos are different from the health problems of the Westerners, and that there is no scientific basis for labeling tobacco products that smoking is dangerous to the health of Filipinos. (Alechnowicz & Chapman, 2004) Another thing, 8% more nicotine and 76% more tar than imported brands were found in our local cigarettes during the 80s (cited in Alechnowicz & Chapman, 2004). But given these horrifying findings, through a public advertisement, the Philippine Tobacco Board oppositely stressed their side on the issue. It said that Philippine- grown tobacco is possibly the safest and non-cancerous tobacco internationally, given that it has low tar and nicotine and that it burns completely, hindering the formation of dangerous hydrocarbons (Alechnowicz & Chapman, 2004). Suspiciously, these claims were made in order to protect the industry of tobacco in the country, given that these companies were political cronies especially during the Martial Law Regime. Well basically, tobacco

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